JIS News

Government and Opposition Members of Parliament have condemned the killing of a mother and her four children in Clarendon.

Kemisha Wright of Cocoa Piece, and her children Kimana Smith (15-year-old girl); Shemari Smith (10-year-old girl); Kafana Smith (five-year-old girl) and Kishaun Henry (23-month old boy) were found dead at their home this morning (June 21).

Speaking in the House of Representatives, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said “the character of this kind of murder”, requires a united and total response by the State.

He informed that the police have someone in custody, who is a distant family member, noting that there have been increasing levels of inter-family violence in recent times.

“This type of violence is not about policing, it’s a far deeper psychosocial problem and we have to unite as a country, as a people and find the ways of identifying the vulnerable ones and begin to get at the root cause of this prevalence of violence,” Dr. Chang pointed out.

Leader of the Opposition, Mark Golding, said that the savage killing of a mother and her four children indicates a certain mentality, which “is very disturbed and depraved”.

“It indicates that our country has a problem with violence, which is multifaceted. It is not limited to the kinds of violence that has generally been preoccupying those with responsibility for trying to improve the national security of the country, which is organised criminal violence around extortion, money laundering and other forms of criminal activities,” he pointed out.

“This just seems to appear to be another instance of a willingness to go to extremes to ventilate whatever hurt feelings or anger may have been preoccupying the mind of the perpetrator. It speaks to a need for us to have a serious programme of anger management and teaching life skills around how to cope with stress and adverse situations and perceived disrespect,” he added.

For her part, Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, who visited the community, said the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) has been deployed to provide support to the family and community members.

“I want to join with my colleagues in publicly condemning this violence – this horrific act and to offer all the support we can to the family, not just [psychological] support but whatever financial support we can to carry the family through,” Mrs. Williams said.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Marisa Dalrymple Philibert, also condemned the act of violence.

“We need, as a country, all of us from all walks of life, must stop and reflect and pray for all of us as citizens of this country,” she said.

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